Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (208 KB)

Title: Adjusting forest density estimates for surveyor bias in historical tree surveys

Author: Hanberry, Brice B.; Yang, Jian; Kabrick, John M.; He, Hong S.;

Date: 2012

Source: The American Midland Naturalist. 167: 285-306.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: The U.S. General Land Office surveys, conducted between the late 1700s to early 1900s, provide records of trees prior to widespread European and American colonial settlement. However, potential and documented surveyor bias raises questions about the reliability of historical tree density estimates and other metrics based on density estimated from these records. In this study, we present two complementary approaches to adjust density estimates for possible surveyor bias. We addressed the problem of surveyor bias of density estimates by simulating the effects of (1) rank of selected trees (compared to assuming the nearest trees were selected) and (2) specific surveyor bias in selection of (a) quadrant location, (b) quadrant configuration, (c) azimuth, and (d) combined species and diameter. We then developed regression equations to calculate adjustment quotients for these biases, making the adjustment quotients transferable to any similar datasets.

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • This publication may be available in hard copy. Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
  • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact Sharon Hobrla, if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.



Hanberry, Brice B.; Yang, Jian; Kabrick, John M.; He, Hong S. 2012. Adjusting forest density estimates for surveyor bias in historical tree surveys. The American Midland Naturalist. 167: 285-306.


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.